Designed by Ryder Cup legend, Colin Montgomerie, in conjunction with Ross McMurray from European Golf Design, the new course at the colossal Celtic Manor Resort opened for play in July 2007 alongside its big brother the Twenty Ten course.
Monty’s new course has used the opening and closing holes from the old Wentwood Hills course for its front nine and the homeward nine has been created from land that once housed Celtic Manor’s old 18-hole Coldra Woods academy course.
While the Montgomerie course features a few deep pot bunkers and the club’s marketing blurb will have you believe that this gives the course a links-like feel, the layout is an open-country parkland affair with dramatic elevated tee shots across valleys.
The addition of the new 6,371-yard par 69 Montgomerie course allows Celtic Manor to boast three top-class courses and it has reaffirmed its position as the premier golf resort in Wales.
Great course! Only downside is that the buggies aren’t allowed on the fairway which meant a lot of walking to and from the buggy path. I think I’d prefer an electric trolley next time.
After playing the Twenty Ten Course yesterday, this was always going to be a little of, ‘after the Lord Mayors show’. Playing the Montgomery course you certainly are not treated to the same sort of highlights. The complimentary balls are gone, the engraved bag tag a thing of beauty wasn’t provided and the staff send you to pick your own buggy up. The sugar coating certainly isn’t there.
The starter was pleasant but a bit too keen in explaining how we should play the first hole, with a driver, which seems strange given our standards differ immensely. Still…
This is vastly different to the Twenty Ten Course in every way. Gone are the lakes but in comes hills and a walk only a mountain goat should be making. The course is considerably shorter with back to back par 3s on the front nine and only two par 5s on the back. Whilst we are on the subject no review would be complete without mentioning the 12th hole. A 609 yard monster with views to die for. I spent more time than I should have, videoing the hole and even taking photographs coming off, looking over the Twenty Ten Course. I’ve been told this hole features in the Worlds Top 100 but I can’t find a list… (if anyone can help?)
Overall the course is pleasant. It’s a tactical course where irons off the tee are sometimes required. I don’t recall hitting anything longer than a 6 iron into a par 4 and there was a lot of drive and a wedge or pitch shots. It lacks the length for sure but is still enjoyable. The 9th for instance is one of many doglegs. At 406 yards with an uphill second shot it should offer a tough challenge as stroke index 5 suggests. However I reduced the hole to a driver and pitch by playing over the corner, knowing the bail out area was actually long not short. The 10th likewise had me bemused? At 320 yards downhill it can be driven. Yet behind it is a 100 yard walk to the tee that could easily feature another teeing area?
If I have some criticisms it’s that it’s May and it’s still lift and place on the fairways. That tells you a lot about the condition. It lacked definition. It needs some greater care. Most resort courses do tho. I found the greens better than it’s big brother with some really interesting putts. I think if they sped them up it’d give the course another dimension.
The final thing is the frustration with the buggy’s. My Dad really struggles to walk. Yet twice he was told off, like a naughty school child, for driving on the bone dry fairways and not sticking to the paths. That had a lot to do with the 5 1/2 hour round. The paths are so far away and, as we found, if you are down the right side of the fairway and the path is on the left it was taking him quite some time to get to the ball to play your shot. My Dad, who is 76 and has had ankle operations, was shattered coming up the last. Surely some common sense might have prevailed?
Overall we couldn’t decide which course we preferred? It was an even split in the end, based, understandably on ability. Would I drive 4 hours to play Celtic Manor again? I’ll let you know in the coming years.
Although we played on a saturated day The Montgomerie is a fantastic golf course and is well worth the green fee and an over night stay.
Lots of dog legs, bunkers and water Hazards await.
It is not the most difficult but it has been well designed
The famous hole is the 12th, a fantastic long part 5 down into the welsh valley. My favourite was the 7th especially when played off the whites.
This is a long course which will require you to be accurate and long, but will be enjoyed by all golfing standards.
Unfortunately i did contact the course and confirm i am Aspergers and could i have a tee time on my own as i find it very stressful playing with others but when i turned up i was informed i would be with 3 others which caused me stress but I suppose at least i was playing. Anyway lucky we split in to 2 groups of 2 and i was left with a nice man even though it was still stressful. However after about 6 holes i started to calm down a bit and i started to enjoy the course which was actually quite nice and the 10th hole was truly amazing, as i was not being followed i did really take my time on this hole.
It was wet when i played but ok condition. Just rating the course i give it a 3.5 but if i were to rate the whole experience i would say 2-3.
Above average, but only because of the stunning 12th (previously the 3rd). The 10th is a nice hole, but the remaining holes don't stand out at all.
Having played the 2010 course the day before in glorious sunshine the Welsh weather came back in full force to give us one of the wettest rounds of golf I have ever played. Despite the rainfall it was also one of the most enjoyable said I and my two playing partners. We had the course to ourselves which allowed us to literally soak up the atmosphere. The Par 5 12th is simply a beautiful hole that is ingrained in my memory.
A decent track of good quality that has the added benefit of being part of the world class complex that is the Celtic Manor. The course has always been in good condition when I played it, I have only played it 4-5 times.
Would I rush to play it again no but equally I wouldn’t tell anyone to avoid it.
My best tip would be to combine it with an overnight stay at the resort.
As a member fo the Celtic Manor im fortunate to play this course at my will. The monty similar to roman rd is an amazing course due to each individual hole having its own characteristics. Its not like playing courses when you can switch 3 fairways lined up in a row, the monty is very much the 'Medal' course, you can seriously find it hard if youre not hitting well. Can get a little rough around the edges in the winter but in the summer its a totally different beast!
Montgomerie's design is good, and the course has many memorable holes. It is always in good condition with great greens. There are a few dull holes that make this course inconsistent, but the good holes make up for it.
Hole 1 is a short par four of 320/314/296 that has a downhill drive and a long, multi-levelled green pinched by two bunkers. A pretty good start.
Hole 2 is a par 3 of 183/178/141 that is one of my least favourite holes on the course. The bunkers are well placed, but it doesn't interest me.
Hole 3 is a fantastic par five of 609/584/465 that runs downhill all the way through a forested valley. One of the best golf holes in the world.
Hole 4 is the best par 3 on the course, 181/145/122 over a deep ravine with a beautifully framed green in the valley. A great golf hole.
Hole 5 is a great par four of 359/334/229 with a beautifully sited green. There is a run off on the left and the drive over the ravine makes this a great hole.
Hole 6 sits in the middle of my par 3 rankings for this course, 161/151/105 uphill. The green complex here makes this hole better than the 2nd and 14th.
Hole 7 is my favourite par four, 335/309/277 with a drive over a deep ravine to an uphill fairway. The green is shallow but wide. A great hole.
Hole 8 is a par four of 422/386/335 uphill. This hole would be boring without the bunkers. An okay hole.
Hole 9 is the last par five, 564/530/502 from an elevated tee to an uphill fairway. The bunkers are well placed and pinch the fairway in the right places.
Hole 10 is a great par four, 421/390/368 that dares you to cut the corner with the tee shot. Then it plays downhill over water to a tough green. A fantastic hole.
Hole 11 is a sharp dogleg par four of 396/390/357 with a cluster of six bunkers on the right. This would be a better hole if the green site was more interesting.
Hole 12 is a good downhill par four of 403/377/343 with a nice look and feel. Requires an approach with less club. A good hole.
Hole 13 is a fairly average par four of 399/334/294 that has well placed bunkers on the left and right of the fairway, but has a dull greensite.
Hole 14 is my least favourite hole on the course, a par 3 of 168/160/132 with five randomly placed bunkers. Too similar to the second hole as well.
Hole 15 is a good par 3 of 158/145/120 with four well placed bunkers. Similar to the fourteenth in terms of bunkers, but they are placed in better spots.
Hole 16 is a tough par four of 428/411/354 with a breathtaking downhill drive. A great challenge, but this would be a better hole with some bunkers added.
Hole 17 is a risk-reward par four of 283/273/243 which has five well placed bunkers. However, the other two bunkers are too far away from the fairway.
Hole 18 is a good par four of 406/376/368 with a downhill drive that dares you to cut the corner. Anything short of the green will roll back down the hill.
The Monty is a good course with some stunning holes (3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 16) but the bland holes (2, 11, 13, 14) really let the course down, and this prevents it from getting more than four balls.
The 2nd of 3 courses at the Celtic Manor resort, the Montgomerie has a different character than the Twenty Ten. Although water is still present in areas, there is nowhere near as much aqua as the other course.
It’s a parkland layout, with loads of elevation, coupled with long green to tee walks meaning that it wouldn’t really be a pleasant walk. Where this course compares strong to the Twenty Ten is some of the subtlety, with more strategy needing to be deciphered here than it being laid out obviously in front of you.
The 3rd is a stand out hole, a par 5 that has an extremely downhill approach shot. This is followed by the 4th, an uphill par 3 which for me is the courses best short hole. On the back, the most memorable hole for me was the 10th, a shortish par 4 where players need to be clear on the strategy.
Overall this is a mostly forgettable course, and I would encourage players who are keen to play interesting courses to venture further into Wales to Porthcawl & Pennard.